After ten years of fooling people with his outrageous alter egos, Sacha Baron Cohen, the British comedy actor, is to switch from stunts to conventional roles.

Baron Cohen, who created Ali G, the deluded rapper, and Borat, the Kazakh television reporter, is to start by playing Sherlock Holmes, with Will Ferrell as Watson.

The actor realized his jokes were wearing thin while he was in America making his latest movie in which he plays Brüno, a gay Austrian fashion presenter.

He fooled the Alabama national guard into posing with him while he wore a camouflaged thong. But then he tried to dupe a club of septuagenarian ballroom dancers – who had already seen Borat.

As Baron Cohen, in black waistcoat over a sleeveless white shirt, ended a tango by kissing his male partner on the lips, the dancers turned off the lights and ejected him from the hall.

Murray Echols, 75, said: “We gave them more than they planned for. We called the police who told his crew never to show their face in town again.”

Click here for more on this story from the Times of London.